Travel Note:
Ignosticism
21 June 2019

ΒΆ Airline delays have once again interfered with Kathleen’s travel plans. She was to fly home this afternoon, from Phoenix, to which an earlier plane would have carried her from San Diego. But the earlier plane did not arrive at San Diego until twenty minutes after it was to have taken off, so Kathleen missed her connection. She promptly arranged for standby status on five flights, though, and the one that came through was the red-eye from Phoenix to JFK. So she’ll be taking off for New York shortly before one in the morning tomorrow, New York time.

Also, she’ll be spending the longest day in the year in an airport, one with no bookshop, apparently. The novel that she took with her but hasn’t yet opened is in her checked luggage, unavailable, but she tells me that she has an e-book on her phone. Rapture unforeseen. 

Now: what am going to do? Will I stay up to make sure that her plane takes off on time? What if it doesn’t?

Remember Jack’s beanstalk? My proclivity for imagining disaster when Kathleen travels is even more robust and far-reaching. Not that I have to make things up. It’s like being locked in a theatre and made to watch a collage of all the scariest bits of every movie involving a problem with a plane. 

β€” The next morning. I decided that the best thing to do would be to talk to Kathleen about an hour before take-off, and then to quiet down for bed. I would not sit at the computer until a quarter to one. I would ask Kathleen to call me in the event of any difficulties, otherwise just to come home. If there were difficulties that prevented her from calling me, it would do me no good at all, late at night, to suspect them β€” for I wouldn’t know anything β€” from online information. What on earth could I do about it?

And I stuck to that resolution, somewhat amazingly. I woke up about half an hour before Kathleen did get home, and while waiting to drift off again I thought about checking on the flight status. But I resisted. It wasn’t that not knowing made me feel better; it certainly didn’t. But I’m sure that it prevented my feeling worse. I have never subscribed to the maxim that no news is good news. But sometimes, if only for a little while, it is best not to know if there is any news. In this case, it made the happy ending to an anxious week even happier. 

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